Apple is interesting Epic Video games, doubtlessly delaying modifications to the App Retailer for years

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., Center, arrives in the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California on Friday, May 21, 2021.

Nina Riggio | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple has appealed the Epic Games case, seeking to suspend the restraining order that allows developers to add in-app links to payment websites, according to company officials and documents filed on Friday.

If Apple wins the respite ruled by a judge in November, a rule change that may allow developers to bypass App Store fees of 15% to 30% may not take effect until appeals on the case are finalized for years .

In September, federal judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled nine out of ten cases in antitrust proceedings against Epic, the manufacturer of Fortnite. Epic was looking for the option of installing its own app store on iPhones. Kate Adams, Apple’s general counsel at the time, said the ruling was a “great win”.

But Apple has also been instructed to fundamentally change its store and allow mobile apps to direct consumers to external payment methods, which may offer a way to bypass Apple’s App Store fees.

This injunction is currently scheduled to come into force on December 9th.

Apple hasn’t publicly stated how its App Store policies would change under the regulation, but some developers have already started developing software based on their interpretation of the ruling.

“At a high level, I believe that without thoughtful restrictions to protect consumers, developers and the iOS platform, this change will harm users, developers and the iOS platform in general,” said Trystan Kosmynka, Apple’s senior director of App Review said in a filing on Friday.

Apple may be able to change its App Store policy and have discussions with the judge, eliminating the need for an injunction, Apple officials said.

Over the past year, Apple made several small concessions to critics of its app distribution rules in response to lawsuits and regulatory attention to limit major changes to its app store. Apple has argued that it should be able to choose what software iPhones are allowed to run in order to provide a better user experience, which the company says.

In a filing describing the reasons for the stay, Apple cited some concessions it made in August as part of a separate deal with small developers. This agreement is still pending approval by Judge Rogers.

“The requested suspension will allow Apple to keep consumers safe and secure its platform as the company addresses the complex and rapidly evolving legal, technological and economic issues that any revision of this policy would create,” said Apple- Lawyers in a court file.

The judge also ordered Epic to pay Apple damages. Epic Games appealed in September. A representative from Epic Games declined to comment.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney joked about the appeal on Twitter.

Ultimately, should app makers be able to bill their own customers directly without using Apple’s in-app purchase system, it would threaten a winning machine for the company. The App Store is part of the company’s services business, which had fiscal 2020 revenue of $ 53.8 billion on a gross margin of 66%, accounting for about 20% of Apple’s revenue.

SEE: Discord Founder and CEO at Apple vs. Epic Games

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